New MMO Prime World Will be Cheaper for Girls

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New MMO Prime World Will be Cheaper for Girls

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Developer Nival will use gender for game balance and pricing in an effort to attract the sisters and wives of hardcore players.

Players who set up an account with Russian developer Nival's upcoming fantasy-flavored MMO, Prime World, might be surprised when first logging in. Unlike most games, wherein the player can create any avatar they desire, Prime World will ask for your gender. And not only ask, but actually require you to login to Facebook to prove it. So, why all this trouble to determine if you're XX or XY? Because in Prime World, it will affect your character, his or her abilities, and the price of in-game purchases.

"The idea is to introduce the MOBA genre not only to hardcore players who already love it," explained Larisa Nuretdinova, creative director for Nival, "but to their friends who might be more casual, and of course to their sisters and girlfriends who may not be as hardcore."

Girls won't just have to pay less; they'll have special abilities, too. Females who join parties can grant special buffs and bonuses to the men they play with, and visa versa. They'll even be able to purchase extra, gender-exclusive characters on the cheap.

"To do the very best, you'll want a female player on your team," Nuretdinova continued. "You don't need to have male and female players on the same team to win, but it will certainly help. The game will be connected to your Facebook account, so it will actually be able to check that your real-life gender, and the bonus is only available when a team is made of mixture of male and female players who are playing as characters of the required gender."

Nival hopes that by adding these women-centric mechanics, it can attract a larger pool of females into the game, thereby creating what it defines as a true social atmosphere.

"When boys gather around to play games just with each other, it's not really social," Nuretdinova says. "When girls gather around just to chat, it's not very social. The social starts when they hang out together and play games together."

I can understand the desire to attract an under-represented demographic into your game, but I wonder if that would be better achieved by simply making the product more in-line with their interests, or refocusing the marketing campaigns. Simply lobbing discounts and abilities at them seems like convincing your friend to play Monopoly with you by letting him or her start with a hotel on Park Place and Boardwalk. I suppose that might work, but at what cost to the experience? Still, the specifics have yet to be announced, and all innovation is met with a few speedbumps that need smoothing before taking hold.

Souce: Penny Arcade via Eurogamer

Image: Nival.com

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In unrelated news, Facebook sees noticeable uptick in number of women joining.

MISANDRYYYYYYYYYY

Really? This sounds like it would fit neatly in the list of silliest marketing strategies ever...
Yes make the game gender biased and force you to give it access to FB personal stuff.
Not only that but also make it clear to everyone the gender of the player. I feel sorry for future female players of this game...

Changelog Update 1.5

After seeing some players complain about our game on their FB status, we have decided to start handing out temporary bans for every negative comment we find.

Do you feel that the gaming industry under represents females? Do you feel that there should be a push to bring more girls into the fold? Do you completely misunderstand the concepts of sexism and gender exploitation?

Play Prime World. We're not entirely sure girls know what games are anyway.

The feminist in me died a little bit from reading this article. Special priveliges because you are a girl? Yeah, that sets a good predecent.

And what about us girls that already are hardcore, shouldn't we go without a discount? What about guys that aren't hardcore, should they get a discount?... Yeah, lots of unfortunate implications with this one.

Doesn't that unintentionally ruin some of the anonymity of gender in the game? It was my understanding (I really dislike MMORPGs, so I can't speak beyond what I've inferred) that the ability to remain anonymous as to your real-life gender removed what is, for some people, an impediment for playing a gender other than their own.

So not only are they requiring you to have a facebook account they are expecting people not to create fake facebook accounts to show that they are girls for in game bonuses and discounts.

Somehow I don't see this working too well. Considering how well the free-to-play model works why someone is still trying to do traditional subscriptions confuses me.

Kasurami:
Do you feel that the gaming industry under represents females? Do you feel that there should be a push to bring more girls into the fold? Do you completely misunderstand the concepts of sexism and gender exploitation?

Play Prime World. We're not entirely sure girls know what games are anyway.

I can't stop laughing, this is just some brilliant satire.

I.... I...

Yes, this makes total sense. Thank you "Prime World" for advancing the cause of feminism in gaming by several decades.

Protip guys: If you switch the gender and it suddenly becomes misogynist, then your marketing plan is terrible. Just throwing it out there.

I can kind of sympathize. League of Legends is racist, misogynist, xenophobic cesspit that makes XBox Live Call of Duty look like a circle of caring and sharing. Seems like there might be a market for a more polite MOBA where you let your skills do the talking, but I'm not sure if this will work - well, we'll see, let's run the experiment. You'll get guys signing up anyhow for the same reason you get guys at No Cover Charge for Ladies nights at bars.

Girls: An moo? That's just some those fat gross Nerds play in their mom's basement because they can't get on the football team and are afraid to talk to us.

Nival: But it's on sale...

Girls: GIMME, GIMME GIMME!

Mike Kayatta:
"The game will be connected to your Facebook account, so it will actually be able to check your real-life gender.."

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I suppose the devs have good intentions, but I don't think that sexism and privacy invasion is the way to go. If anything, why not just have in-game gender-exclusive abilities?

I'd like to point out that anyone can fake a facebook account, and it is super easy. Facebook says "Oh, no-one is allowed a Facebook page unless they really exist" but they moderate that really poorly. I have a friend with 3 fake accounts dedicated for trolling purposes. One is Phoenix Wright, another is Miles Edgeworth and a final one is Asuka Langely Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion. This person could easily use their Asuka account to acquire this benefit and they'd be none the wiser. It would also be silly though as this friend also happens to be a girl so they'd be using a loophole for nothing, but whatever, trying to make a point here.

Also, doesn't this seem a bit sexist? I mean, it is possible to be sexist against men as well as women and we want an equal society, not a society dominated by one gender/race/sexuality/religion. This seems to be working against that. No matter how they rationalise it, this is, in my view, acting favourably to one group of people over a matter that no-one can control.

Calumon: Maybe they just wanted to impress other girls so they can get girl-friend and eat each other's faces! :D

oldtaku:
I can kind of sympathize. League of Legends is racist, misogynist, xenophobic cesspit that makes XBox Live Call of Duty look like a circle of caring and sharing. Seems like there might be a market for a more polite MOBA where you let your skills do the talking, but I'm not sure if this will work - well, we'll see, let's run the experiment. You'll get guys signing up anyhow for the same reason you get guys at No Cover Charge for Ladies nights at bars.

Maybe I'm lucky, desensitized, or when you reach summoner lvl 30 people are less likely to be dickheads, but LoL isn't THAT bad in my personal experience.

Yes, this is a solid idea. Absolutely no way this can go wrong and be construed as sexist.

And thinking about it, this is actually more sexist towards women. They get provided extra perks and bonuses at a cheaper price, making the game easier. Because womenz cant play games ya see, they need it made easier for them if they hope to even get close to a MAN's skill level.

Yep, again can't see how this is anything but a sheer stroke of brilliance.

oldtaku:
I can kind of sympathize. League of Legends is racist, misogynist, xenophobic cesspit that makes XBox Live Call of Duty look like a circle of caring and sharing. Seems like there might be a market for a more polite MOBA where you let your skills do the talking, but I'm not sure if this will work - well, we'll see, let's run the experiment.

Sigh...we can only hope. But to be honest, 'people will be massive dicks' seems to be a tag with ANY moba, to be honest.

Expose the guy for the dick he is in the chatlog, and then report him at the end of the game. Makes you feel sooo much better, wahah

Also, this:

Jack and Calumon:
I'd like to point out that anyone can fake a facebook account, and it is super easy. Facebook says "Oh, no-one is allowed a Facebook page unless they really exist" but they moderate that really poorly.

-.- wow, this is pretty stupid.

how about letting the GAME bring people in (and not dressing the lady's in '2 leather straps held on by wishful thinking') novel concept i know

Kwil:
In unrelated news, Facebook sees noticeable uptick in number of women joining.

Correct. And all of them have stock profile pics.

As one of the devs commented in the PA post, the discounts and gender-specific talents apply to both men playing male avatars and women playing female avatars. It's still a pretty terrible idea, but it's not one-sided. Just short-sighted.

I don't actually think this is that bad of an idea, maybe online gamers will be less demented and misogynistic if they want to attract women onto their team. And really, it's no worse than all those affirmative action schemes that people are apparently in to. In fact, it's probably not as bad, because it's not based around something as important as Jobs or scholarships, so people who may have been the best for the position aren't missing out on anything important.

Of course, there's always the possibility that giving extra powers and discounts to women will make those worst examples of online gamers resentful of women, causing even more misogyny. Still, I can get behind the experiment.

MOBA? Isn't that the DoTA genre? Yea that's a grand idea, throw the women straight into the deep end of the gaming pool.

I see it working much like lady's night at any bar or club... increasing the number of male subscribers.

Furthermore, I still have no desire to buy a chevy sonic.

The hypocrisy here is staggering. Wow. Ultimate failure.

Watch as this dies even quicker than Age of Conan.

Did you apparently miss the part where guys get bonuses for being guys? Sensationalist much?

Uh... lol?

I would like people to take a moment to imagine the reaction when male MMO players start encountering female players who have exclusive benefits by dint of their gender.

Yeah, it's going to be real friendly in there.

http://kotaku.com/5898398/this-game-offers-discounts-to-men-who-play-as-men Read this before making a ridiculous reaction. They should've put this info in the OP...

I don't want to play mmos because I'm afraid of all the guys on there. I don't want to play because I don't like mmos. Soooooo, good luck with that.

Eri:

Read zis since it was left out. -> http://kotaku.com/5898398/this-game-offers-discounts-to-men-who-play-as-men

That's still dumb to me. I don't think it should matter if players stick to their genders or not, and they shouldn't be charged more for choosing to play as a character of a different gender.

But alright, it's not sexist. That seems like an odd restriction to force players into though.

This was just one of those articles I had to read and then re-read to make sure I had it right. I mean, absolutely NO way this could go badly. No way at all. /sarcasmdrip

Eri:
-mega snip-

Actually that, while also being a stupid idea, is not quite the same as women, as it says in the first paragraph, earn the same benefit for sticking to their own gender. While this game is deliberately giving benefits to people of the female variety, that one is putting a big fence between the two genders as commanding they only play with the toys allocated to them.

If you want a comparable situation, look to schools where the dress code dictates that girls can only wear skirts and not trousers. It's not quite the same, it's more like saying that girls can wear trousers but then they'll get charged more in the school canteen later and the same situation with lads in skirts if they want that and my god this analogy is getting complicated with gender equality here. In short, it's still stupid, but for entirely different reasons.

Calumon: Yeah, and what if Jack wants to wear a skirt to school? Huh, what then?

Eri:

Read zis since it was left out. -> http://kotaku.com/5898398/this-game-offers-discounts-to-men-who-play-as-men

God Damn that just makes it worse... Men must play as men and women as women if you want the bonuses.

How is this anywhere near enforceable? Relevant joke;

But i am a Lady!

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With The Old Republic on one side, World Of Warcraft on another and The Secret World coming up soon who is even going to try another paid MMO?

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